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How do the kidneys work?

There are two kidneys in the human body that perform many vital functions in the body. They are bean-shaped organs that help in removing the waste materials from the body. Every day, our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood to release just 2 quarts of waste, water and other harmful toxins from our body.

Why is it an essential organ?

The kidneys are placed just below the rib cage and are located on each side of the human spine. The kidney works non-stop in order to balance the fluids present in the body. The kidney is also responsible for filtering the entire blood of the body and gets rid of the waste present in the blood. A human’s body will function well when both the kidneys work properly. A healthy kidney is a sign of a healthy body.

How does it perform its functions?

Nephrons are tiny units inside the filter (located inside the kidney), which help the kidneys to filter the blood and removes the wastes. Each kidney has approximately a million nephrons. This is present in one side of the kidney, and these nephrons are covered with tiny blood vessels known as the ‘glomerulus’ that maintains the normal proteins and cells in the blood. This filtration takes place in the renal corpuscles. Here the smaller molecules such as water, glucose and urea pass through the tube while the larger molecule such as the hemoglobin stays in the blood.

The Renal Tubes

Once the blood is filtered the material moves to the renal tubes. From these tubes water, urea, and glucose are transported back to the blood depending on the need of the body. Again, depending on the need of the body these particles are filtered and pushed to the blood stream again for the body to absorb the essential elements.

The last stage of filtration

This happens in the collecting ducts. After the fluids pass the renal tubes it is collected in the ducts for the final filtration process. The ducts collect the extra water, ions and electrolytes. Here in the final stage only waste products, extra water and electrolytes remain. This waste forms the urine and moves out of the body through a tube called the ureter.

An important organ

Can you imagine the waste being piled up in your house? The answer is obviously no. Similarly, the body too needs to remove the waste it acquires through the day, and this can happens properly only of the kidneys function well enough to filter everything. The filtration process is really necessary because it filters the right amount of salts, water, urea and electrolytes for the body’s need and throws away whatever is extra.

Kidney failure

Kidney failure can happen due to a number of reasons that include diabetes, high blood pressure, Glomerular diseases, heredity reasons, poisons and trauma. Kidney or renal failure is interchangeable terms. If severe renal failure happens, patients may need to undergo dialysis every day. Dialysis machines perform the function of filtering the blood and taking out the waste products from the body.

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